Diplomats raise concern of impact on investment during meeting with GECOM

The ABCE diplomatic members – Canadian High Commissioner Lilian Chatterjee; Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy, Terry Steers Gonzalez; Deputy High Commissioner of UK, Ray Davidson; and Minister Counsellor/Deputy Head of the European Delegation, Philippe Coessens meeting with GECOM Chairman, retired Justice James Patterson and Commissioners Sase Gunraj, Bibi Shadick, Robeson Benn, Vincent Alexander, Desmond Trotman and Charles Corbin at GECOM on Thursday

Members of the American, British, Canadian and European (ABCE) diplomatic community on Thursday met with officials from the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) during which concerns were raised about the impact the current political situation can have on potential investment opportunities.

Speaking with reporters following the more than two-hour engagement, People’s Progressive Party (PPP) nominated Commissioner at GECOM, Sase Gunraj revealed “…one member of the delegation we just met, made it very clear to us and brought it to our attention that the current impasse that the country finds itself in is affecting the inward flow of investments into this country. And that recognition by this person with whom we meet is a recognition that this country ought to come to. The longer this situation continues, it affects the livelihood and progress this country will make.”

Nevertheless, the Commissioner said that they also highlight their already-public position on the entire issue regarding the holding of polls. He said that the emissaries were also told of apparent delay tactics, including the latest issue of funding at the Elections Commission.
“I said to them democracy is not a cheap thing, democracy is a costly thing; and elections and the holding of elections is an integral part of that democracy. I described it in that meeting [that] it’s a very fragile democracy that Guyana enjoys and…that starvation of funds to the Commission for the holding of elections, I believe, provides a fetter to the Commission to effectively carry out its functions… That was made every clear to the (diplomats),” Gunraj stated.

The diplomats met with GECOM’s Chairman, Commissioners and members of the Commission’s secretariat after Chairman of the entity, retired Justice James Patterson used his deciding vote to pass the motion to inform the President that General Elections cannot be held by the constitutional March 19, 2019 deadline.



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